Flinn Foundation extends grants in response to COVID-19

Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center (FABRIC)

The Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation has made a series of emergency grants to protect frontline health-care workers, accelerate development of therapeutics, support outbreak modeling and tracking, and help sustain vulnerable nonprofit organizations across the state.

The more than $450,000 in grants have been issued to a fashion incubator manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE), to each of Arizona’s public universities for research and testing initiatives, and to an emergency support fund for nonprofits across the state. These awards follow an emergency $100,000 grant in March to the Translational Genomics Research Institute to fund an expansion of COVID-19 testing.

Additionally, over the next several months, the foundation anticipates frontloading roughly two years’ worth of its support for arts and culture organizations to help pillars of that sector survive and retool their business models in a radically changed economy and presentation environment.

“Over the 55-year history of the Flinn Foundation, no moment of need compares to this,” said Flinn Foundation President and CEO Tammy McLeod. “For a foundation that concentrates on health care and the biosciences, the COVID-19 crisis compels an immediate response. With a mission focusing on the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations, we also have to consider what will strengthen Arizona in the long-term.”

A $150,000 award to the Arizona Apparel Foundation is supporting an essential project of the Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center (FABRIC), located in downtown Tempe, to manufacture PPE for health-care workers. With funding from the Flinn Foundation, the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, and the Pakis Family Foundation, FABRIC has invested in a state-of-the-art computerized cutting machine and dozens of new sewing machines.

This equipment and numerous new hires at FABRIC are enabling the incubator to manufacture highly sought-after reusable medical gowns, among other equipment. Unlike typical gowns that must be discarded after use, the FABRIC gowns being sewn and directed to frontline Arizona health-care providers can be washed and safely reused dozens of times.

Two grants to Northern Arizona University, together totaling $175,000, are supporting projects at a pair of world-class research centers that are now directing their attention to the COVID-19 response: the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute and the Center for Health Equity Research.

A grant to the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix (COM-P) is supporting a new COVID-19 Innovation Team at the medical school, under the direction of Peter Nakaji, a COM-P faculty member and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery for Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.

Dr. Nakaji’s team, involving frontline clinicians, medical and engineering students, and local companies, is taking on emerging rapid-design projects to improve the efficacy and safety of treatment tools for COVID-19 patients, from making PPE more comfortable for extended use, to retrofitting intubation equipment to minimize cross-infection of clinicians.

A Flinn Foundation grant to Arizona State University is supporting a COVID-19 environmental surveillance project led by Rolf Halden, director of the Center for Environmental Health Engineering at ASU’s Biodesign Institute.

Wastewater sampling offers a relatively inexpensive and rapid method to spot and potentially short-circuit spread of the disease throughout a community. Halden’s new study, already underway in Tempe and planned for other metropolitan Phoenix cities, aims to enable local officials to identify disease hot spots that can then be confirmed with individual outreach and testing.

One of the broadest collaborations among funders to respond to the pandemic is the Arizona COVID-19 Community Response Fund, established by the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) to aid nonprofit organizations throughout the state that have been endangered by the disease’s wide-ranging impacts. Some 25 organizations, in addition to individual donors, have contributed to the fund. Like other donations to the fund, the Flinn Foundation’s contribution of $100,000 is being applied to meet immediate needs of the Arizona nonprofit community.


About Frontdoors Media

Frontdoors Media celebrates the people and groups who give generously and work to build the future of our community. It’s the premier source of information – and inspiration – for those who strive to make the Valley of the Sun a better place to live.
More in: Community, The Daily

From Frontdoors Magazine

Back to Top